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Meeting with Pro-Russian Activists after 40 Die in Clashes

On the night of May 2, 2014 over 40 proRussian activists from the Odessa community died in a fire resulting from street protest clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian activists. Less than four days later Duke attempted to meet with ProRussian leaders and activists to establish dialogue and to begin to understand first-hand what their experiences have been and what their needs and values are.

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Restorative Circles

Restorative Circles:  Community Empowered to Walk Toward Their Conflicts

At 6 A.M. Anton awakens with a start, hearing his six-year-old son crying out in fear. Looking into the street, Anton sees twelve tanks rumbling past their apartment building. The unpredictable appearance of tanks is just one of the challenges living 15 kilometers from a war zone. Unidentified, heavily armed masked gunmen patrol the streets, their vicious-looking dogs snarling at their feet. The regional water system has been destroyed, leaving only one open-pit well to supply the entire town. This is life for civilians along the war-front in eastern Ukraine as the conflict drags on.

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From Fear to Understanding

Novohrodivka Dialogue

The small town of Novohrodivka, 15 km from the warfront (ATO) had been experiencing conflict between the local Russian-speaking residents of the town and the Ukrainian army stationed there.

We were invited to support dialogue between these two groups. Anton, a colleague who was a participant in the dialogue facilitation training arranged by Foundations for Freedom, had made connections both with the leaders from a local town and with the commander of the army brigade. He met with each of them separately and they each agreed that they would like support to have a dialogue to try to reframe their relationship.

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